Opinion: Virat Kohli-led team's 'will' to defeat England lacks a 'way'

Written By: Jhalak Nagpal
Delhi, India Published: Aug 07, 2018, 10:04 AM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Against all the odds, skipper Virat Kohli slammed his maiden century in England to knock the doors of English side and confidently announce that he isn't a novice on foreign land anymore. 

Where there's a will, there is a way'. The proverb partially fits the current scenario of the Indian Cricket team, who are touring England and lost the first game of the five-test match series.
 
Despite the 2014 loss baggage the team carries on its shoulders, the 'will' was much glaring in the team's performance. But what lacked was the 'way' they are going to change the embarrassing history. 

Against all the odds, skipper Virat Kohli slammed his maiden century in England to knock the doors of English side and confidently announce that he isn't a novice on foreign land anymore. 

He was calm, composed and his shots selection displayed a class, known to have been possessed by legendary Indian staunch Sachin Tendulkar. 

Kohli’s 149 runs masterclass against swing attack is an example of terrific discipline and dedication which banished questions about his technique against the moving ball. 

It lifted the visitors within 13 runs of England’s first-innings 287 despite a batting collapse.

Kohli refused to take the bait as James Anderson, who got him out four times in 2014, kept up a line just outside off stump, a tactic he had succumbed to the last time. 

Even the Indian bowlers left the English side wounded and appalled with their attack. 

R Ashwin produced a disciplined bowling effort to bundle out England in first innings and Ishant Sharma took the charge in the second innings.

They ran through England's middle and lower order to record figures of 4/62 (Ashwin in first inning) and 5/51 (Ishant in second inning) to deplete England batting on their land. 

But what cost them the game was the battle Virat Kohli had to fight alone.

He rose above outside edges, plays and misses, dropped chance too, to stitch together to a close target set by Joe Root's side. 

The top order collapsed, middle order failed to give the required strength, leaving feisty Kohli wage the lone battle amidst ruins.

KL Rahul, who was touted to be the trump card for India, failed to stay on the crease for long. 

Shikhar Dhawan, who flopped in the practice match, continued his poor show in both the innings. 

Cheteshwar Pujara, whose twin failures, 1 and 23, during the practice match against England, made him sit on the bench. His axing also whipped up selection debate but was it worth is still a question. 

To an extent, it is, as the World no 1, which is struggling to even stand at the crease, need players to perform with the bat. 

The vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane and wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik were also a flop show. 

Kohli single-handedly can't take the side to victory, and hence he will have to take some harsh steps which may include making a few senior players, in place of young ones, sit on the bench. 
 

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are the personal views of the author and do not reflect the views of ZMCL)

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